Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I did Right Last Christmas (part 2)

Last Christmas the example of a friend motivated me to get organized for the arrival of our family. Read part one here.

The 8 days our house was full of people went fabulously. I had time to sit and hold the baby, visit with my daughter-in-law, play the complicated board games my family prefers (one game took well over 2 hours), go on outings for “light-seeing” and coffee, and bring 10 people home for dinner!

My sister-in-law had to sleep on a bed we pumped up every night in the family room which is right off the kitchen in our house. We draped curtains over the opening and she said she was staying in the “Taj Mahal”.

We had my parents-in-law over several times as well as a couple of movie viewing nights with friends. I guess we should now call our family room “The Taj Theater” as that is where we “show” our movies.

Two hour-plus Carcassone game!

We included a stop to visit my 90 year old friend, Marion, on Christmas Eve and sing carols with her for an hour at the retirement home where she lives. We left there and went straight to the Christmas Eve service and were home and eating supper by 6:30!

Below is the menu I made up. In italics are the comments I wrote down during the week and after to remember for this year.

Wednesday, December 21
Dinner – Left over Autumn Pork Stew, salad (lettuce, orange slices, sweet pepper, poppy seed dressing)

Thursday, December 22
Dinner – Asian Salmon, baked potato, salad (Jim and I)
Frozen pizza for youth group boys game night

Friday, December 23 (Daniel, Abby, and Anna arrive)
Lunch – Pumpkin Soup (freezer); Orange slice salad with poppy seeds and oil and vinegar on lettuce leaf; bread rolls; Christmas cookies

Dinner – at Stiles and dessert at Debi’s

Saturday, December 24
Breakfast – cheese strada, fruit,

Lunch – cheese, summer sausage, and crackers, orange and apple slices

Dinner – taco soup (crock pot), coleslaw, cookies

Sunday, Christmas
Breakfast – scrambled eggs, Christmas ring, sausage

Christmas Dinner – Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad, (brown and serve rolls) – (family brought rest of the meal) 12 lb turkey is too small. Pay more for a bigger one! Didn’t have rolls, no complaints on that.

Evening – snacks – Ate at 3:30, so didn’t really need snacks.

Monday, December 26
Breakfast – Cereal, bananas, milk, coffee – everyone likes homemade granola, lots of yogurts were good addition

Lunch – potato cheese soup w/leftover mashed potatoes – good use of leftovers! ("Smashed Potato Soup", Family Circle Slow Cooker Meals, p. 143)

Dinner – Turkey & Dressing casserole, salad – good use of leftovers! Added boxed sweet potato casserole and fed 8

Tuesday, December 27
Breakfast – oatmeal, fruit, nuts

Lunch – quesadillas, with peppers, chicken, black olives, and mushrooms – 4 star idea!!! Served “buffet” style; 2 large frying pans on medium-low to heat; chips and salsa

Dinner – Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs (freezer), salad – everyone loves the spicy meatballs! Need at least 4 per person, 5 would be better.

Wednesday, December 28
Breakfastcereal – Thankgiving French Toast – the make-the-night-before breakfast dishes are great, I get to do my exercises before breakfast!

Lunch – sandwiches, fresh veggies, pretzels – lunch meat and tuna

Dinner – Chicken Enchiladas (freezer), salad – 0 stars. Family prefers beef and bean enchiladas

Thursday, December 29
Breakfast – oatmeal, fruit, nuts, milk

LunchGarlic Chicken Vegetable SoupDaniel and Abby went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for lunch, we ate leftovers.

Dinner (celebrate Samuel’s birthday)
Tender Chuck Roast, Mashed potatoes, green beans w/almonds, carrot salad, angel food cake, - this chuck recipe is very good, but roast needs to warm to room temp. before placing in oven, or it doesn’t get done!

Friday, December 30 (Samuel leaves)
Breakfastcereal, bananas, coffee, yogurtused second Swedish (Christmas”) ring

Lunch – Chili, cornbread, salad

Dinner – honey curried chicken, rice, stir fried broccoli with peppers – did rice in oven with chicken—worked great; cover chicken with foil to keep moist.
(Daniel, Abby and Anna leave)

Saturday, December 31
Breakfast pancakescereal, yogurt, and fruit

Lunch sloppy joes, (freezer) raw veggies – left over taco soup

Dinner stuffed shells, salad – Grandma and Grandpa took us out to Bishops for last time, it closes Sunday.

Sunday, January 1
Breakfast ­– Paneton (Peruvian Christmas Bread), eggs, oranges

Lunch – Pork roast, boxed scalloped or sweet potatoes, green beans w/peppers
(Lois leaves)

Dinnerfrozen pizza popcorn and apple slices

Taco Soup – 3 servings
Smashed Potato Soup – 3 servings
Pumpkin Soup – 4 servings

Still have on hand
Garlic Chicken Vegetable Soup – 8-10 servings
Frozen pizzas – 4
Stuffed shells – 4 servings
Sloppy Joes – 5-6 servings

My goal with all this menu information was to give you some inspiration and ideas. I hope it did, and I'm wishing you a wonderful and organized holiday season!

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If you want a question to get the conversation going around your table like the Around the Table Book Facebook page and a question will appear on your wall everyday.

Linking with these blogs.


  1. This is so nice and brings back memories to me.Christmas season is one of the times I miss my family a lot. I have a very big family and we always dine together on Christmas day. But since I'm far away from home, I still do it with friends who are like family to me.

    1. Nekky, I'm so glad you get together with friends when you can't be with family. My parents always lived at least 1000 miles from extended family and for 24 years we lived on another continent so we looked for as many as we could to fill our table at Christmas every year. It's a great way to serve others and add to our own joy! Right now I have all my kids close, but that will change soon as they are marrying and moving on, so I'm grateful for every time we can get together.

  2. Looks like you did a great job of enjoying the holidays. Your meal planning was wise and it looks like your family had a great time. It's always a challenge to enjoy instead of stress.

    1. Gail, I'm feeling like this Christmas is coming up very quickly and wondering if I can be as organized, or at least organized enough to enjoy it all! Hope so!

  3. Everything sounds and looks so delicious! I'm really glad I don't have to feed that many people! But I am inspired by your organizational skills! Pretty darned amazing. I hope this year goes as well!

    1. I hope so too. I'll have quite a few more house guests and another baby for a longer time! I'm so glad they all pitch in!

  4. I still think this is such a great idea!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  5. These pics are wonderful!! And the menus look great. the Taj Mahal idea is cute. :)

    I'm a little late, but visiting from the Raising Imperfection hop.

    1. Glad you came by. I'm hoping to get this year organized, but I've had a lot of other things going on, so I'm not there yet!

  6. Enjoyed seeing your pictures and reading your menus. I'm a planner. When we go to my mother's for any occasion she has every meal written out, which dishes, tablecloth and napkins, down to how many high chairs is needed. It sure makes for a smooth celebration.

    1. Pamela, Your mom wins the prize! I look in the cupboard to see which dishes are clean and which tablecloths are clean. I start the week with all of them clean, but on we go! It does help to have things planned, though!

  7. Wow...check out that menu! That's impressive.
    Love the Taj Mahal idea :)

    Thank you for linking your post to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)


    1. Thanks, Lanaya. I haven't gotten this year's ready yet. Hope to work on that in the next couple of days! New grandchild, wedding, plus two daughters and my parents here... :-)



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